Atheist Quotes / Atheism Quotes - Sam Harris Quotes

FYI: this post has been moved here.


  1. First, I'd like to say that I've found some useful links on your site. But I've also got to say -- beware of getting stuck in a ranting, tendentious, predictable, sarcastic tone, scoring points rather than making them. Atheists are people. Most are honest and ethical. We owe them the utmost measure of intellectual honesty -- indeed, we owe it to everyone, not least to ourselves. Maybe even a little courtesy.

    As for the Harris remarks quoted, they are of interest and I thank you for linking to the sources, but many of your responses seem to make little sense. For instance, you want to know, in response to Harris’s stated (hypothetical) preference for eliminating religion rather than rape, “Where are the women’s rights groups?” Well, maybe they’re not scouring the internet for miscellaneous off-the-cuff remarks by pop philosophers and calling press conferences to denounce everything objectionable that they find. Maybe they’re not trying to act as omniscient ideological police. Maybe they’re spending their limited time and money on a large raft of concrete issues, like those which N.O.W. lists at http://www.now.org/issues/. Frankly, the question is silly.

    Later, re. another quote, you ask, “Where are the outcries of the anti-anti-Semites?” Well, where should they be? Hasn’t Harris just said that it is “almost impossible” to blame the Jews for the Holocaust? Is it the word “almost” that you think anti-anti-Semites should be outcrying about? But surely they, too have other things to do with their time, and surely in this setting the word simply acknowledges that any distortion of logic can be supported by _somebody_ -- that there is no limit on what some human beings will affirm.

    “Sad to note the results of the oxygen deprived brain secretions of someone whose mind is stuck in well within the box atheist group think” is just semi-coherent verbal abuse. If you have a criticism of Harris’s claim to make, why not make it? You can do better than this.

    And please, cut the “ja vol”s. Heavy sarcasm rots the mind and looks weak to boot.

    Oh, and please, oh goodness gracious, kill the link in your sidebar to the Conservapedia article on “Darwinian Evolution.” I am a Christian, scientifically educated, have written hundreds of real encylopedia articles on science topics: this ghastly thing offends me on every level, religious, scientific, and writerly. It is a mockery of an objective article. “The fossil record does not support the theory of evolution and is one of the flaws in the theory of evolution,” it says, a toupee-popping falsehood of the first water. In fact the fossil record is intimately concordant with and illuminated by evolutionary biology (see, e.g., http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section1.html#pred4) -- as over 99% of scientists active in relevant fields accept. That fact -- the near-universal acceptance of evolution by working scientists -- this sad little performance cannot even bring itself to acknowledge. One of those scientists, by the way, is evangelical Christian and Obama pick for NIH director Francis Collins, whom you defend ably elsewhere against several silly atheist criticisms.

    Hey. You’ve picked a good beat. The evangelical atheists are handing you ammo every day. Class up your act and you’re there.



    Blogging on religion and science at http://www.theotherjournal.com/blog.php?id=227

    Blogging on science-worship and other stuff at http://www.nolongerbythinking.blogspot.com/)

  2. I would pay four million dollars* to see Mariano respond to Larry Gilman above. That's some of the best stuff I've read on this site (though that isn't saying much, as most is just tripe), and it's even more pleasantly surprising to see it comes from a Christian. Kudos.

    * If I had four million dollars. Or a single cent.

  3. RE: Atheism is dead!? -- Hardly!

    Neo-atheism is not atheism; it is an "anti-theism without conscience" polemic!

    In fact, neo-atheists like Sam Harris, et al, are irrationalist-sophists, in both science and philosophy today, as I recently analyzed here: "Let's begin the Dialogue and Reconciliation of Science and Religion Now! -- RE: What’s mind (or never mind)!? -- Deciphering idiosyncrasies of scientific/religious rationalism vs. neo-Darwinist/ID-creationist irrationalism, in science and philosophy today!?" (PhysForumEU; August 2).

    Best wishes, Mong 8/3/9usct3:47p.

  4. Wow, even atheists are trying to distance themselves from the silliness of people like Sam Harris. Too bad he seems to have bigger bull horn to make himself over "kinder and gentler" (more rational) atheists. I think sarcasm is a perfectly find response to Sam Harris' pontification. I mean it's not like we stone people for blasphemy anymore.

  5. Gentlemen, the "brain secretions" comment had to do with the following quote: "No orthodox Christian can find any logical reason for condemning their action, although all nowadays do so."

    Mr. Harris seems to forget that "Thou shalt do no murder" provides a very logical basis for said condemnation--assuming that one considers Christ to be God and His assertions relevant. In fact, Mr. Harris seems to forget a lot of things when they are not convenient to his railings, much as evolutionary biologists tend to do.

    A lack of memory on this magnitude can sometimes be construed as the result of neural damage. Thus...you get the picture.

  6. I would also pay good money to see Mariano respond to Larry.

  7. Me too- heck, I might even come back and comment here occasionally. But I won't hold my breath.

    Larry- now that's the way to promote dialog. Look me up if you're ever in Vienna, and lunch is on me.

  8. Larry Gilman,

    Thanks for the comment.

    To which of Atheism is Dead’s 386 posts (as of today) are you referring?

    Certainly, this one was one to which I made some sarcastic and fun remarks. Yet, basing the 386 posts on AiD on this one is a very biased sample.

    I have a record of being curious and taking atheists seriously and treating atheism fairly.
    You will note that I have told my atheist friends that I love them—which I do very, very much (see here).
    I pray for them regularly and tackle various issues related to atheism from the light to the very heavy.

    Qualify Harris’ remarks as you will: he is a very well known author/speaker and it would be fascinating to see what a women’s rights group has to say; particularly about his view that rape played a beneficial evolutionary role.

    As for the anti-anti-Semites: I must honestly thank you as I had inadvertently left off the part directly after where the original post ended the quote. It continues thusly, “This is, however, in a rather narrow sense, the truth.” I have edited the post to reflect this now.
    Thus, “narrow,” wide or what have you; he is blaming my people for our own suffering throughout the millennia. And please do not tell us Jews what other things we should be doing.

    Please use the search engine function on AiD to look up “Sam Harris” and you will find “better than this.” Again, you are basing all of your criticisms on one single post.

    The “ja vol”s are as serious as cancer of the brain actually. I have relatives that were murdered by the Nazis and it was ignoring things that you may consider trivial that eventually grew into the Nazis attempt to exterminate my people. This is why we say NEVER AGAIN!

    Please direct your criticisms of Conservapedia to Conservapedia—generally, a blog’s author will link to websites expecting that it is ubiquitously known that they do not agree, approve or condone everything that the website states.

    Some of my atheist friends seem to make a joke of the fact that I hardly ever respond to comments—anymore. I can only conclude that they are: 1) un-empathetic 2) seeking to score cheap points or 3) they are simply unaware of my post on the issue which is found
    here (I would prefer to think that it is # 3).

    Joé McKen, Anonymous #2 and Zilch I expect payment asap.


  9. I don't understand the problem you have with the rape comment. Do you understand what repudiate means? Why would womens groups have any issue with Sam Harris saying Rape is not acceptable?

  10. Fair enough, Mariano. The next time you're in Austria, or I'm in your neck of the woods (you told me once where you live, and I might be passing nearby next year), you can collect, either in cash or in goods.

    As long as you're in a responsive mood, what do you say about Larry's criticism of the "Conservapedia" article on evolution? Can one be a true Christian and believe in evolution? Or an old Earth? Where exactly does the Bible intersect with the real world for you?

    cheers from sunny Vienna, zilch

  11. I find it funny when religious people say things like "Wow, even atheists are trying to distance themselves from the silliness of people like Sam Harris".
    What you don't understand is that atheism is not comparable to religion. We don't have a unified way of thinking about things. We don't have a sacred text telling us absolute truths we have to believe or are forced to believe like you do.
    We can think ourselves. I find some things Sam Harris says differently. He has his opinions and I have mine. We both being atheists do not make any difference.
    What me and Mr. Harris agree on is that none of the things priests say really make any sense and hence we both have come to the conclusion, individually, that there really is no reason to believe in any for of gods. That makes us atheists, not some book by written by someone.

    I know this is hard to understand when you have been growing up in an environment where reason and critical thinking is forcefully discouraged. Atheism is not believing into something together but not to believing something somebody else says. There is a difference if you think about it.


  12. You spelled jawohl wrong.

  13. mis-qoute much?
    wow more "Myth(mis)information"

  14. My above comment is about this blog, not it's comments.